GO Virginia offers grants for economic growth and workforce development

RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – Governor Glenn Youngkin announced funding to help support economic growth, strengthen workforce development and support collaborative programs.

The funding — more than $1,261,859 — will be part of the Growth and Opportunity Grants for Virginia (GO Virginia).

“GO Virginia encourages regional collaboration between business, education and government leaders while supporting innovative approaches to reinvigorate our workforce and economic development,” Youngkin said. “These projects will equip Virginians with the tools they need to thrive while strengthening opportunities for workforce training and talent development across the Commonwealth.”

The GO Virginia program began in 2017 and has helped fund 215 projects – with approximately $82.2 million to help with regional economic development efforts.

“As a new member of the Board of Directors, I am thrilled today to see the results of the hard work of all GO Virginia Regional Councils and partners,” said GO Board Member Todd Gilbert. Virginia and President of the Virginia House of Delegates. “It is exciting to see how these projects plan to generate the economic impact and growth that these regions seek – expanding the pool of ready-to-use talent to support strategic industrial sectors and creating a dynamic and enabling environment for startups with high growth potential in the Commonwealth.

Below is a breakdown of where the funds have been distributed across the Commonwealth.

Implementation of the regional talent strategy: $315,910

  • Botetourt, Franklin, and Roanoke Counties, and Cities of Covington, Roanoke, and Salem
  • The Western Virginia Workforce Development Board (WVWDB) and Roanoke Regional Partnership (RRP) will focus on developing, attracting and retaining talent in the Roanoke Valley and Alleghany Highlands
  • A talent web portal, business toolkits for recruitment and an annual retreat for economic and labor partners in the region will be developed with this project.

GO TEC Region 1: $308,924

  • Counties: Carroll, Grayson and Wythe
  • Carroll County Public Schools and Great Opportunities in Technology and Engineering Careers (GO TEC) will create GO TEC Career Connections Labs
  • It will help provide students with career paths in the region

Activation Capital Regional Entrepreneurship Initiative (REI) for Region 4: $300,000

  • Counties: Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Greensville, Hanover, Henrico, Powhatan, Prince George, Surry and Sussex
  • Cities: Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg
  • Activation Capital will help “develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in line with the regional growth and diversification plan while creating long-term sustainable strategies.”

Promotion of careers in aquaculture: $100,000

  • Counties: Gloucester, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlsex, Northumberland and Westmoreland
  • The Rappahannock Community College (RCC) Educational Foundation will create a project to help promote jobs in the aquaculture industry through e-learning modules, a summer school experience and a summer internship
  • This will help students understand what jobs are available, expand educational opportunities and raise awareness

VGA Refresh/Restart: A Strategy for Regional Economic Development in Southern Virginia: $100,000

  • Counties: Brunswick, Charlotte, Greenville, Lunenburg and Mecklenburg
  • City: Emporia
  • Virginia’s Growth Alliance (VGA) to Assist Regional Economic Development Organization with Business Sector Analysis, Workforce Study, Regional Incentives and Fundraising Campaign Feasibility Study

Fair for internships and hiring workshops: $36,000

  • Counties: Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, Stafford
  • Cities: Fredericksburg
  • Federicksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce will work with five school divisions to connect high school and post-secondary students with internships
  • There will be five hiring workshops throughout the year

Mountain Empire Community College Project Welding: $101,025

  • Counties: Scott and Wise
  • City: Norton
  • Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) will have a welding certification program
  • The project will help train incarcerated people and help them find employment opportunities after their release and provide opportunities for the population ready to train and willing to work

You can find out more about the Go Virginia program by consulting its website.

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